Jul 12 2012

Creole Restaurant

Posted by     22 Comments    Posted under: Reviews

 

Creole Restaurant

49 Lower Dominick Street,

Galway City, Ireland

Phone: (+353) 91 895926
Email: info@creole.ie

Website: www.Creole.ie

 

Creole Restaurant on Dominick Street, in Galway.

 

There is a new fish in town. Literally.

We have been to Creole a few times now and while this will read more as a favorable review than not, there are a few things that need a bit of tweaking so lets start with the fish.

Creole serves corn battered (deep fried) Louisiana catfish on their menu. The cornmeal should be the coarse ground kind for this to be a bit more authentic. The Chef (my Chef that is) reckoned there was no cornmeal present, just a regular flour batter, but the manager assured us there was, so we are assuming they are using a very fine cornmeal for the batter. We, because we have eaten a lot of bottom-feeding (American) river catfish in our day, know our Catfish.

The Chef LOVED the fish he ordered, but questioned whether or not it actually was (as stated on the menu) ‘Louisiana catfish’? No way, no how. It looked like a nice firm piece of cod, bright, white thick and tasty not dull and grey like river catfish really is. Upon further investigation it was revealed that Creole is serving up Icelandic (Atlantic) farmed Catfish. This is all well and good, and as I stated, the Chef LOVED his fish dish, but folks, this ain’t ‘catfish’. Here is a photo of real river-bottomfeeder Catfish and here is what Creole are serving. See? A different fish altogether.

Sure – as along as it tastes good then no worries, unless you are expecting one thing and get another, right? Because then you start to question the rest of the menu options.

Icelandic (Atlantic) Catfish at Creole Restaurant

 

The first time we ate there (right after it opened) I had ordered the steak and because it was so good the first time around, I ordered the steak again. It was just as fabulous and cooked to perfection. A safe choice if you are going to Creole.

Seeing as the ‘picture tells the story’ I have to mention the corn.

Meh … this needs to go. It was boiled to death and tasted (and looked) a bit like animal feed corn. Trust me, I would know.

Steak, baked potato, corn on the cob.

One of our dining companions had ordered the Mississippi Shrimp Skewers. They looked delicious and I have it on good authority that they were. They came on a bed of dirty rice, which I tasted. The rice ain’t dirty. It is spiced up a bit with (possibly) cayenne pepper and a few onions, corn kernels and tomato thrown in. Real authentic dirty rice gets its name from cooking rice with Chicken livers and the holy trinity (green bell peppers, celery & onion). I would rename the rice to just plain ole ‘Cajun rice’ and have at it guys, because it was delicious!

As you can see from the photo the dish was presented nicely and there was plenty of it. Another great menu choice if you are going to Creole.

Shrimp skewers on a bed of ‘dirty’ rice.

 

Overall, the service was excellent. The manager kept hovering around the tables helping clear when necessary and ensuring the customers were well looked after. The beer list is somewhat limited (as is the wine list) and it would be lovely to see a few of the Abita beers listed (hint hint) but we made do with the fine selection of Irish beers offered.

 

Dungarvan brews on offer at Creole Restaurant, Galway

Dungarvan brews on offer at Creole Restaurant, Galway

 

Closer to the end of our meal we got a little surprise from the kitchen. It was a sample of fried Okra. Coincidentally, we had submitted a recipe for our weekly column in The Sunday Times (not to be confused with The Irish Times ) for the same week as our visit there.  Their Okra dish was good – but a little undercooked.

 

Fried Okra from Creole Restaurant, Galway

Fried Okra from Creole Restaurant, Galway

 

And here is the thing with Okra. It is a hard sell to begin with because it can get a bit gelatinous or gummy if not prepared correctly. I took one bite of mine and the whole piece of okra flew out of its perfect corneal crust and landed plop-on-my-plate. It might have been a bit undercooked. Best way to serve it is cut up into nice bite sized pieces like in the photo below. Not as messy for the diners.

Lightly fried cornmeal crusted okra

Lightly fried cornmeal crusted okra

 

Not being a dessert gal myself, I can’t really comment too much on the latter part of the meal only to say that the other diners were not impressed with the selections offered and would ‘skip dessert’ next time around. I think that the folks at Creole should start buying in a few excellent cakes from one of the many fine patisseries around Galway.  The Keylime cheesecake below was alright but I question where they are sourcing the key lime juice from as it is virtually impossible to find around these parts. That being said … the portions (starters and main courses) are astronomically big. I just cannot imagine there would be much room left for anyone to even attempt a dessert.

 

Key Lime Cheesecake with Oreo icecream

Key Lime Cheesecake with Oreo icecream

So. There you have it. You can now go forth and make your own informed decision as to whether or not you might chance supper at Creole. If summer ever surfaces in Galway, why not pop down there and check out their new and lovely beer garden?

 

Beautiful Beer Garden at Creole Restaurant, Galway

Beautiful Beer Garden at Creole Restaurant, Galway

 

The Chef & I and our dining companions all had a great night out. There is a serious bang for your buck at Creole with all the extras they pile on your plate alongside the main course items. We are anxious to get back and try the Jambalaya and the Gumbo, two of our favorite Cajun dishes, but are just waiting for the cooler weather to roll in. (If you live in Galway you will find this extremely funny!).

Those are all the WiseWords I have for today,

WiseMóna

 

 

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22 Comments + Add Comment

  • And very wise words they were today! Be careful, Creole may offer you and the Chef jobs after this review. It was a very honest and very fair one and your observations and suggestions should be taken to heart by the management.

    As for not having room for dessert…goodness. I always have room for dessert :)

    • Hi Paula,
      Thanks a million. I love reviewing restaurants.
      This place is a nice addition to Galway’s rapidly growing and improving restaurant scene.
      There are a few little things needing tweaking here and there but I think they will survive for sure.
      I cannot get over the huge portions they serve. A whole slab of ribs for 13,95 euros and that is with three side dishes!
      And I know – the Chef likes to eat his dessert first!

  • Hohoho! The cooler weather will be welcome when it comes. I feel positively naked with only two pairs of socks on meself. Thanks for your company, it was a fun night!

    P.S. I think the should rename it Quay lime pie

    • Feeling hot are we? We had a lovely night too and I love that ‘Quay Lime Pie’ … it is catchy!
      Stay cool – turn on the AC why don’t ya ?

  • You should be setting up an ‘Eating in Galway’ website, Móna – these entertaining reviews of yours are just what a stranger to Galway would need. Indeed I need them myself, being no stranger to Galway but a bit set in my ways of only ever eating in restaurants which have goat’s cheese somewhere on the menu. Yourself and Amee could set up a magnificent site, with ads to pay its own way.

    And thank you for your lovely, kind comment on the children’s illness.

    • You know Mise – we would be a little too blunt and honest for Galway I think.
      The tourists might appreciate it but I think the local restaurateurs would run us out of town!
      I am rather fond of places that serve goat cheese so will let you in on this little secret (now splattered ALL OVER the internet because my ratings are through the roof you know) but Rouge restaurant, that cute little place I blogged favorably about a few months back, are opening ‘La Petite Rouge’ very soon and it is right down the road from Creole. They will be serving the finest of cheeses, and, I am certain, only the finest of French wines. I feel a small bloggers meeting brewing.
      I hope the tonsillitis clears up Mise. My Rory-Belle had it earlier this year and dear lord was it painful.

  • Sure looked very, very tasty and was beautifully presented.

    • Thanks Margo – it was a lovely evening and they have made a great impression here locally.
      We wish them well.

  • Loved reading this review, Móna. When I heard about this restaurant opening, I was wondering just how “authentic” it would be. As with many, say, Italian, or Chinese restaurants, etc., they seem to dumb down a lot of dishes to suit their client base. What I mean is, classic dishes are tweaked to suit, and end up not being anywhere near classic at all. Italian Beef Carpaccio being one, in Italian restaurants. In Italy, you get raw beef, as it is meant to be, here you get a “beef salad” with cooked beef!! Anyway, they are new kids on the block and can only get better, we hope. Good, honest post, with great pics :)

    • Hi Colette,
      We have had visitors for the last ten days and I have to say I miss seeing you on Twitter!
      I am so glad to see this comment and I will make sure to never EVER order carpaccio … I would send it back, I swear.
      I wonder if they cook the steak tartare too?
      yes – see, I think this is where the problem lies Colette. Dumbing down a menu is fine if you want to encourage people to try something new.
      I totally get it. But calling something ‘Louisiana catfish’ when it is fish from Iceland …. well, it just makes a gal wonder about the authenticity of other menu items to. Thanks for popping in for a read Colette. Let me know if you are back our way before the summer is over xx

  • Great balanced review. Spoilt entirely getting such great reviews between Anne Marie and yourself. It’s a treasure especially when you want to try somewhere new but with limited babysitting don’t want to “waste” a night out. On another note showed the Chef and I to a group of friends. Everyone loved it- know what will make a great batch of Christmas presents. Thanks r

    • Hi Rosemarie,
      Thank you so much for this lovely comment.
      I hear ya on ‘wasting’ the night out…it has happened too many times to us and it just upsets the life out of me. A few weeks ago I was chastised for not attending a ‘very important event’ in Galway and I just went off on a rant explaining that after a taxi In and out of town, the (outrageous) set fee for the proposed evening meal, a bottle of wine, a taxi home and a babysitter for four kids, you were looking at €300 …. Sorry.
      It better be worth it. Our time and money is precious. And yeah for everyone liking the book Rosemarie!
      Thank you so much. I think it will make a lovely Christmas present and will be happy to personalise them all for you…just let me know xx Oh and yes..Anne Marie is doing an excellent job with the Galway Advertiser!

  • I’m starvin’ now after reading that.
    On the way to Galway first thing in the morning!!
    ;D

    • Hi Ellie,
      If you are coming, bring your wellies!
      Off to Foole Park with the kids this morning…rain, hail, or snow!

      • Lucky you. I get to go to work for the day. :(

        • Oh trust me Ellie – it is ALL WORK around here :0)

  • I’m sorry but who serves Key Lime Cheesecake with Oreo Ice Cream? I certainly would not! Anyway, I find it very odd that a restaurant would have this great desire to be something that it isn’t… why pretend to be Creole, Cajun or American Southern if you are Irish and can make something similar, something just as good (or almost) with local ingredients? I don’t get it. And if you have already been there a few times and they still have tweaking to do….it doesn’t give me a great impression. And as a dessert person myself…well, just sayin’. Thanks, Mona, for a thoroughly honest and up front review of a restaurant.

    • Hi Jamie,
      Thank you! I hear you. I read way too many reviews that are mambo pay by and when I decide to go and eat
      based n a trusted review I get very frustrated when I find it a totally different experience.
      I had soooo much fun with Simone when she was here last week…it made me miss y’all soooo much!
      Can’t wait to see you gals soon again xx

  • Nice to see that they stock Irish craft beers – bet that Copper Coast went down well.

    • They do have a fairly nice beer selection
      and we were delighted to see a few of our favourites Caroline.
      Hope your summer with the kiddies is going well!

  • Galway is definitely becoming a “let’s eat out” city – there’s so many great places to eat – especially down around Dominick Street. Have been to Creole once (on a treat day) – Loved. Had the Jambalaya with Sweet potato fries. Delicious. Mud pie was nice too :)

    • We are long overdue a trip back there. I want to try their Gumbo and Jambalaya!
      Not a huge dessert fan but the Chef will be happy to hear the Mud pie is good!
      Thanks for the visit John.

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About Móna
I am a native Galway girl that seems to be drawn to professions that rhyme with 'err'. Writer, Mother, Restauranteur, Wedding Planner, Dishwasher, Grass cutter, Cocktail maker. I suppose you could say I am a well rounded entrepreneur.
You can find me here
  • Contact Mona
Ron Wise About the Chef
You can't find the Chef here.
You might as well just come visit.
He prefers face to face communication.

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